NorthWest EMS Ambulance

What is an Ambulance Membership?

How Health Insurance Works:

With very few exceptions, every health insurance product has co-pays and deductibles that the patient is responsible to pay.  Insurance companies will not reimburse health care providers (doctors, hospitals, ambulance services) for any co-pays, nor will they pay for any other charges until the deductible is met.  To further complicate matters, Medicare regulations require health care providers to collect these charges or face penalties.

How Your Membership Works to Save You Money:

When you go to the doctor or a hospital, you must pay the co-pay and other charges until your deductible is met.  An ambulance service, on the other hand, can create a membership program because it serves an entire community.  The membership program pools the funds received from all of the members, and applies them to your co-pays and deductibles when you use our services.  This frees you from the burden of paying these charges, which can be considerable.

Why Your Membership is Important:

Membership is more important than ever due to changes in health care and insurance company practices.  At one time, Medicare had a simple plan that paid 80% of your bill, and you could choose to either purchase a supplemental insurance plan to cover the other 20%, pay the balance yourself, or purchase a membership.  For those under the age of 65, private insurance such as Blue Cross offered much better plans at reasonable prices, so out of pocket expenses were reasonable.

Unfortunately, over the past 15 years two factors have lead to profound changes in our health care: First, the costs of medical care have increased dramatically.  Second, private insurance companies have turned into huge, wasteful bureaucracies, causing them to raise rates, co-pays, and deductibles.  Medicare, once strictly a government program, is now run to a large extent by these private companies with similar results.

Since co-pays and deductibles are now extremely high, your out of pocket expenses can be significant if you are not a member.  This factor also raises the amount that we must write off as well, and the membership program must bring in as much as it writes off each year to remain compliant with regulations.  That has caused most ambulance service memberships to now only cover half of your co-pay and deductible, which means that even members could end up paying hundreds of dollars should they need an ambulance.

Become a Member Today:

NorthWest EMS has been able to maintain the traditional membership program due to our large member base, but we may be forced to raise our rates or go to a 50% program as other ambulance services have done at some point in the future.  The best way to keep things as they are is to become a member and encourage your friends and neighbors to join as well.

To become a member or for more information, click here.

For general information about NorthWest EMS, visit www.northwestems.net

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